So, this is my Ray – Bryan fic. I'll warn you though; I am going to call Bryan by his Japanese name (Boris) and Tala by his (Yuriy). And Ray too (Rei). I'm not sure I will change any other names though, because it will only confuse me.
Uh. I hope you'll tell me if there's any OOC-iness in this, because I really try to avoid that.
Warnings; Boris-language, irresponsible drinking, fighting, male/male action (although no lemon), other violence, sloppy beta-reading.
Special note; I don't know if the Institution of Mental Health actually exists. I just made it up and you will have to deal with it, because I know nothing about London or psychology-methods whatsoever. I did go to a shrink once, but that's not much to go by.
... Why do I like ruining my favorite characters' lives? Oh, well.
In Foggy London Town
The sun shed its light across the buildings, making the windows glow like gold in the sky. The streets were dirty and long, filled with people from all different kinds of places in the world. Cars were honking, bicycles ringing their bells and dogs barking. There was so much movement that the town itself seemed to move, like an ocean of concrete.
Rei Kon sneezed as he emerged from the underground subway. He hadn't been to London that many times in his life and it had been years since his last visit. It all seemed unfamiliar and new, like the city changed every time he turned his back.
And still it looked just the same as it always had. He remembered watching Big Ben from a hotel room, staring at wax-statues at Madam Tussaud's, as well as falling in love with the London Towers.
This time though, he was not in town for mere sightseeing. It was a vacation of sorts, but not the one he was used to. Life had been alright with him, when he was Beyblading at least. But after the team broke up, both the White Tiger X and BBA Revolution, nothing ever got the same. They grew up leaving their childhood behind and all went their separate ways. He was supposed to be a man now, twenty two years old and with enough money on the bank to survive for a good long while.
But he felt like a little kid more often than so, and he was scared. Without Beyblade he had nothing. All his friends took paths that lead them further away from him and as soon as he had left his village he barely spoke to any of them anymore.
Now when his childhood was over, he thought that he might just as well have a look around at what life had to offer.
The only thing was, he didn't get that far before he ended up with a psychologist.
Depression she said, too severe for her to handle, so she sent him to a special group at the best institution in the world, which just so happened to be in London.
And thus, there he was. He didn't know if the sad thing was the fact that he actually suffered a mental condition like that, or that he didn't have anything better to do than go there.
Sighing slightly, enjoying the last rays of the morning sun, Rei picked up his bags and started looking for his hotel.
Boris Kuznetsov was a very fucked up man. At least, that's how his psychologist had expressed himself. At a young age, Boris had been taught to block out every emotion but hate. Of course this made him grow up into a not so nice person, and after nearly killing a person in what was supposed to be a friendly Beybattle, things only went downhill.
As soon as he turned eighteen, his friends had enough. His closest one, Yuriy, had sent him straight to a psychologist.
Boris never really co-operated with the doctor, but very slowly he started to open up, with the help of hypnosis. What the psychologist found inside of Boris made the doctor so horrified that he sent him to the Institution Of Mental Health in London. It was supposed to be the best of places in the world to get the sickest people straighten up, he had said, and thus, there Boris was.
He couldn't recall if he had ever been in a town like that before. He especially didn't like the big clock tower which seemed to peer almost obnoxiously at him. He also hated the weather; it seemed to rain there more than it snowed home in Russia.
The people were annoying as well, rushing around looking weird in their funky clothes and talking non-stop with their hideous accent. As if English wasn't bad enough, they had to come up with several ways to speak it as well.
So far, Boris hated London and he hated the fact that he was going to stay there for as long as necessary. He being the person he was, that could mean forever.
At least the bars were great, if rumors were to be trusted.
He had been trying on clothes for nearly an hour, feeling very silly about himself. He was just a guy, after all, and guys were known to not care about their clothes. Right? That's what every girl he knew always said when he went through his ritual of dressing, at least.
Maybe he wasn't a guy then, he thought with a sneer directed at the mirror.
That blue shirt had to go.
He wanted to look good on his first night out, that was all. He didn't feel comfortable in London. Everything was so unfamiliar and unfriendly. He missed the good old days when everything was simple. Waking up in the middle of the night by Tyson's snoring even seemed tempting.
Bickering with Hillary, talking about life with Kai, that too were things he missed like a leg.
Sure, Kai didn't seem like the guy who you could talk to for more than a minute, but there was more to the captain than what he would let on. He had been Rei's closest friend during that time and maybe he even developed a little crush on him. But that passed, as did his childhood and days of glory.
Just as everything else, even happiness had an end.
He didn't understand why it all had to end like that, though. He didn't understand back then and he understood even less now. Mr. Dickinson had told them that Beyblade was a sport for youths and the older they got the harder it would be for them to find sponsors.
So they tried to make it without sponsors, but after a while everyone realized what was on the other side of that wall between childhood and maturity. Hillary had gotten a job and a boyfriend, Max had taken over his fathers business after the man had a heart attack. It came as a surprise for all of them and he guessed that working was just Max's way of taking care of the grief.
Tyson took it upon himself to coach new teams, like his brother had done. Kenny got a job at a computer firm and Daichi just took off to live the good life. They kept in touch with each other for a while, but it happened less as their lives got filled with more adventures.
Kai though, always seemed to have time for him. He still kept on Beyblading, for a while at least. Then he stopped showing his face around at championships and the last time the two of them spoke to each other had been two months before London.
Rei himself had tried to keep Beyblading up, but as all his friends faded away, so did his lust for the sport. He saw no point in it anymore, because his friends were no longer there. Sure, a long time ago, he Beybladed only for himself. But that was in the past, and no matter how hard he tried he could never go back to those habits again. Quite frankly, it sickened him.
Returning home to the village had turned out to be the only thing left for him to do then. The few things left that hadn't gone downhill before that suddenly started collapsing around him. It was as if the sweet world of beauty he had built around himself quickly fell apart.
He didn't really like his village and returned only because there was no other option.
Growling slightly, deciding to go with a red shirt he tried to smile at the mirror. The smile cracked halfway, fading slowly as he stared into his own amber eyes.
Not even his eyes were shining anymore. It was as if he was slowly decaying. Perhaps he had been doing so for a long time, and just failed to notice.
Rei hesitated slightly before he pushed the bar doors open. Warmth hit him in the face, coming straight from the bar. A loud chattering was soaring inside and he could hear glasses ring as toasts were dedicated. He had often wondered what he would dedicate a toast for, if he ever made one. Maybe friendship?
But it all seemed so distant now. Everything did, and no matter how much he tried to recall anything, all he could feel was numbness. Maybe all people did that, when they had felt down for a long time they slowly got used to it and suddenly, one day, it didn't hurt at all. They couldn't feel anything.
Or maybe it was just him?
He sat down by the bar, not sure if drinking was such a good thing to do when he was in a mood like that. He could drink on occasion, but he had a feeling that drinking that day would only end up bad.
As the bartender gave him a questioning look through ruffled bangs Rei looked thoughtful for a moment.
''Have you got milk?'' he said curiously, looking at the man.
The bartender raised his eyebrows and looked at him like he was stupid.
''This is a bar, kiddo''
He couldn't be much older than Rei himself, and still he had the nerve to patronize him. Not in the mood for a fight, but even less in the mood to be pushed around, he looked stubbornly at the man.
''Look, I'm tired, I'm stressed, depressed and need to get away from the world for just one night, okay?''
''Ye' ain't gonna gonna succeed with that by drinking milk, I'm afraid.''
''But… I can't…''
''If you can't drink then what the hell are you doing at a bar?''
The question struck Rei, not because it was so rude and straight-forward, but because the bartender was right. What was he doing at a bar of all places? He could have gone to a museum or the Picadilly Circus or maybe just some random park, wandering around until dawn. And still he had gone there, and what for?
He didn't even know.
''Alright'' the charcoal-haired Blader sighed. ''A glass of red.''
The blonde man behind the bar laughed kindly, his eyes flickering like candlelight.
''No way, mate'' he snickered and wiped a tear out of his eye. ''You're getting a Guinness.''
Boris looked around the bar. It was filled to the smallest corners with people, packed with chatter and cigarette-smoke. He normally wouldn't mind, but tonight he felt so completely and utterly bored. He had heard that Londoners were famous for their blood-spilling bar fights, and he had been hoping to get a little piece of the action.
Hell, if he was going to be living there for quite a while he might as well enjoy himself too.
He let his cold eyes sweep past person after person, trying to find a suitable target. But there were no football hooligans that night, and no punk-girls either. Only old men and single middle class women sat by the tables, drinking their beer and whatnots, smoking and laughing.
Fuck, he thought, what an utterly boring town.
Maybe the reason that no one was around was because it was a Wednesday night. This thought hadn't struck him before, but as he thought about it, the more sense it made. He should have gone there on a football-Friday or something. Then maybe he would have had something fun to waste his night on.
But what was another wasted night, anyway? His whole life had been a complete collection of trash. His parents he had never met, and if he had he didn't remember them. Or, that wasn't all true. When he thought about it he thought that he might remember his mothers' kind grey eyes.
But that was all in the past, anyway. The Abbey had been his home, and they had taught him all he knew. He didn't even know why he was supposed to go see a psychologist anyway. He wasn't depressed, just bitter. They had taught him how to hate, and now it just came naturally.
Maybe that was his problem. Blocking out emotions doesn't really work in the end. It's like filling a wardrobe with ugly clothes. Just because you can't see them it doesn't mean they're not there, and when there comes a day when you have to get a shoe out of there, the whole thing collapses over you.
But he liked his life like that. No one could argue against the fact that all of the Blitzkrieg Boys had some kind of attitude problem. Yuriy was too caring but always failed to show it, and instead it was misread as a strong competitive streak. Kai was just the same, only he was seen as a cold-hearted bastard in everyone's eyes.
The thing with Boris was that he actually was a cold-hearted bastard, rotten to the core. Maybe if things had been different he would have been a nice person. But reality was reality, and he never denied the accusations.
He liked seeing others suffer, and he liked making them suffer. He liked to bite back at people with sarcastic remarks and he thought he had reasons to never trust anyone but his childhood friends.
At least he did talk to people, more than what could be said about Kai. Never mind that whenever Boris opened his mouth, someone left the room crying.
It did the trick, so why complain?
Suddenly, he caught the eye of a large man sitting by the bar. He was tall and obscenely muscular, looking slightly unfriendly in his large moustache. He turned to watch the TV that hung in the ceiling, burping loudly.
A wicked grin fell on Boris' face. He had finally found his victim.
Stepping up to the large man, his steps confident and daring, his falcon-like glare burning with challenging intimidation, his wicked grin grew wider. He stopped beside the man, looking tall, like a hunter looks at its prey.
The man raised a dark eyebrow and crossed his arms.
''You want somethin'?'' he barked with a dark voice that reminded Boris about a bull-dog.
In fact, the whole man did, especially when he wrinkled his forehead at him.
It was interesting how many layers the skin could fall into in just one grimace.
''Shouldn't little zalupa's like you be home lying in bed right about now?'' the ex-Blader smirked.
The man's gaze darkened severely, and he stood up to glare at him. Standing up, the man had risen to an impressive height. Still, he didn't scare Boris. In fact, no one and nothing did.
''You want do die? Is that it, you little piece of meat? Because I can do you the favor!'' the British man snarled, looking more like a dog than he had done before.
Boris thought his devilish grin couldn't get much wider, and yet it did.
He leaned closer to the man's face, almost spitting out his words.
''With dreams like that I'm surprised you're not sleeping.''
The other growled, licking his teeth.
''You're making a big mistake, mate.''
''Oh, no, you're the one who's in pizdets.''
The look on the man's face was almost worth dying for.
Rei looked up in a blurry haze as he heard a loud bang. His head felt heavy as he swayed to look at what was going on behind his back. As he turned his head, he saw a large man fly through the room and land with a loud ruckus on a table.
The ones who were sitting by the table, jumped up with loud shrieks. As they ran to a safer part of the bar, someone awfully familiar to Rei dragged the large man up by his collar and hit him in the face faster than Rei could blink.
On the other hand, he didn't think anyone could blink that fast after a few pints.
As the two men tossed each other across the bar, the bartender immediately ducked behind the counter. Rei watched the fight with great fascination mixed with fear. It had been a long time since something exciting happened, and still he never really liked fights.
Sure, he could win one if he ever had to, but violence seemed so unnecessary. He admired people who could take you down with words, and not by merely insulting you. The power of the tongue (and not the perverse one that he suddenly came to think of) was extraordinary, if one knew how to use it right.
Soon the bartender's head showed up from wherever he had gone to, and this time he was holding a shotgun.
Rei seemed to be the only one who thought this was odd.
''That's it, you two! Get the hell out of my bar or I'll shoot your bloody arses off!'' he roared at them with his uneven voice, but they paid no attention to him.
Rei had never been that close to a gun before, and it frightened him. He knew what a person could do with one of those, and he was no in the mood for being the witness to a murder on his first night in town.
As the bartender growled, Rei's heart felt like it had just had a flat tire. As he heard the weapon click, he knew what was gonna come but still it startled him.
The gunshot rang loud in his ears, and as the smell of gunpowder filled his nostrils he fell out of his chair with a yelp. His head pounded loudly, and he instantly regretted ever coming there at all.
How was it that all the psychos always got drawn to him? The Saint Shields, Team Psy-kicks, the battle with Boris and…
He blinked rapidly, not really sure if his mind was playing tricks on him.
Drunk or not, he could bet his kidney on that one of the two fighting men looked exactly like Boris Kuznetsov.
Oh, he remembered the Russian alright. How could he ever forget? He had almost died that day and his ankle had never been the same. The man frightened him, as well as made him feel an urge of befriending him.
A person like that seemed like he needed a little love every now and then, and well, Rei was just a nice person. Although, he couldn't really deny that he would like to slap him around a few times too.
The dog-like man stared at the bullet holes in the wall then glared at the bartender.
The bartender gritted his teeth and pointed the gun towards him.
''Out of my bar, now!''
The man didn't even have the time to react until the-man-who-looked-very-much-like-but-hopefully-wasn't-even-though-it-was-highly-likely-Boris eyes lit up and he threw his opponent out through the bar doors.
The customers in the room yelped in horror, while some only cheered the fight on.
It was an odd mix of people, Rei thought and stood up.
He had to go make sure that they were alright, and if he would have to call an ambulance. He bet the others around wouldn't do it, and he just couldn't have someone's death on his conscience.
(And he was very, very curious about who was winning, too.)
He soon got followed by the ones that were too, curious about it. They quickly pushed their way past him and he was beginning to fear being trampled.
Slipping into the back of the crowd he climbed his way out of the bar and out on the street.
The air was surprisingly cold, colder than he remembered, and it hit him like a slap in the face. Immediately he felt like he had just awoken from a bad sleep. The alcohol's effects started to slip off him, and as his eyes darted around, like cat eyes in the dark, he didn't have to try hard to find the fighters again.
The larger man was laying on the ground, his face an unrecognizable mess of blood. Hovering above him like a bird of prey, the Boris-man stood drenched in blood.
Rei feared that the blood wasn't just his own.
''Fight! Fight! Fight!'' the people around cheered, and it sickened him.
How could they just stand there and let it happen? The man on the ground was obviously in a bad condition, and the assaulter didn't seem to want to stop any time soon.
Rei bit his lip down hard, not sure of what he should do. He didn't want to step in between them, as much as he wanted to break them apart. Sighing deeply, he knew that he had no choice if he wanted to be able to sleep that night.
He took five quick steps and in a few seconds he was holding the Bryan-mans arm with a firm grip.
The man froze, as if touched my lightning, and slowly, hatefully, turned to glare down at the dark-haired Chinese man.
Rei felt his heart sink and get devoured by his stomach. Silence fell over his ears, even if the crowd was still cheering them on. But they looked only like a faint blur in the corner of his eye, and all he could see was the face of the man he was holding.
There was no doubt in his mind now, that the man was in fact Boris.
Boris Kuznetsov, the man whose eyes were empty of compassion. The man who had hurt him, injured him like no other, in what was supposed to be a simple game. He was the one who would always send bile into the back of his throat, as well as make a burning anger sear through him.
Still, he wanted to find it in his heart to forgive him. He just wasn't sure if he could.
Boris' eyes were a color of vicious icy-grey, as well as his hair which lay in sweaty lumps, plastered against his pale skin. The man breathed heavily, his breath smelling strongly of alcohol.
Rei wasn't sure that the equally tall man recognized him, and a part of him was glad for that.
''Boris…'' Rei said hesitantly, not really sure of what he should say. ''I think he gets the picture.''
The Russian man panted heavily, his grin fading bit by bit. His face was unreadable, and Rei wondered if there was anything inside the man at all. If it was, he didn't really want to know. The look in his eyes said so much at the same time that it was impossible do decipher, but still it made his spine freeze.
Then before he could blink, a fist connected with his jaw and sent him flying into darkness.